The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Accepting applications for the Innovation and Learning Network

The Mass Cultural Council believes that by making our sector more accessible to people with disabilities we are making it more accessible to everyone. To that end, the Mass Cultural council will invest in organizations seeking a greater understanding of the systems and resources that center “accessibility” in the development of cultural competency. Are you ready to take the first step? The second? How do you build sustainable, effective practices? 

Can accessibility be affordable?

Through the Innovation and Learning Network, the Mass Cultural Council provides an unrestricted 3K stipend for staff time, 5 experiential workshops in universal design principles, a website audit from the National Center for Accessible Media, a site visit from the Institute for Human Centered Design, and an introduction to logic models to steward institutional project implementation. Upon completion, organizations become part of a Network with additional professional development and grant opportunities from the Council.

Creating access is about more than a ramp, albeit that ramp is important too!

“Disability” crosses through all identities and intersects with aging, trauma, disease, and recovery. The processes by which the Council stewards “access” are replicable and lay the groundwork for organizations wanting to address racial, gender, class, and faith-based barriers. This investment then is rooted in the notion that by empowering our plurality, by treating our differences equitably, we build healthy, inclusive communities.

This opportunity is housed under the Universal Participation Initiative (UP) and is open now for applications.

Accepting applications for UP Designation

Already embracing a commitment to access and effectively practicing the vision, education, representation, and innovation that moves cultural competency forward? Apply directly for UP Designation and open up a whole new landscape of peer networking, grant opportunities, and professional development.


I host a series of information sessions on the ADA to get the conversation started. And I scheduled two  ADA 101’s:

Friday October 5; 9:00-10:30am at The Mount in Lenox MA

Monday October 29; 2:30-4:00pm at the Springfield Museums, Springfield MA

Not sure where to begin? Host an ADA 101 in your region before the end of the year!

UP and Out:

·        An interesting read about PLAY from a member of the Board at Boston Landmarks Orchestra:

·        Mass Office on Disability
The Massachusetts Office on Disability annual Summit began in 2015. This event is designed to bring together and inspire leaders, advocates and persons with disabilities by focusing on issues that impact the disability community. Join the conversation on Friday October 5 in Somerville MA

·        Transformative Culture Project is BEARING WITNESS. To acknowledge their 10 years of amazing work, consider attending their benefit event on October 10.

·        Alex Freeman show and tell: Alexander Freeman is an award-winning filmmaker and public speaker with cerebral palsy and a graduate of Emerson College where he studied Film Production with a concentration in Directing. With a background in short narratives and feature documentary filmmaking, Freeman specializes in minority focused human interest films about disability and other outsiders. Alexander is the Founder, President and Owner of OUTCAST PRODUCTIONS, which is devoted to producing and distributing thought-provoking films on disability, sexuality, identity, race, abuse, poverty and women's rights for the web and on DVD.

THE WOUNDS WE CANNOT SEE challenges our attitudes towards mental illness and how if individuals with mental illness get the help they need early, it can change the outcome of the individual’s life.
Freeman will screen and discuss the 59-minute film. Watch the film trailer.

THE LAST TABOO tells the gripping and heart-warming story of six people with various physical disabilities and an able-bodied partner who was in a relationship with one of them. These individuals share their perspectives on intimacy, relationships and what their experiences have taught them about themselves. THE LAST TABOO asks us to step outside of our comfort zones in order to reconsider our misconceptions regarding disability, identity, gender, attraction, beauty and sexuality.
Freeman will screen and discuss the 50-minute film. Watch the film trailer.

Alexander Freeman
130 Dartmouth Street, Boston, MA, 02116
Phone: (617) 365 3993

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